Paddleboarding is a fun and rewarding sport that’s been on the rise for the last couple of years, and why not? It’s a great full-body exercise and you get to enjoy the calmness of nature around you while staring at the beautiful horizon in front of you. What can be a bit tricky though is to nail the perfect paddle board that can handle your weight and your intended use.
Choosing the appropriate paddle board for your weight will have a significant impact on how it balances and handles out on the open water. The overall volume, width, and length of the board will influence how it feels beneath your feet and getting the correct one will ensure that you’ll have a good time paddleboarding. Most newbies will look at the length of the paddle board and make a decision from there, but the length doesn’t actually tell the whole story when it comes to the correct sizing.
Your body weight should be taken into consideration as well as the board volume. These two go hand-in-hand to help you find the perfect match in terms of the paddle board you’re looking for.
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The first step in figuring out what size paddle board do you need for your weight, hop onto the scale. If you’re planning to use the board all by yourself, you can select a board that can handle 50 more pounds than your current weight.
If you’re going to use a paddle board with your pet or your kids, take note of their body weight as well. These numbers will be important in choosing a board that is capable of handling the total weight you’ll be sharing the board with. A good rule of thumb is to go with a paddle board that’s slightly above the total weight combined or your own body weight.
The overall volume of a paddle board is very important because the more volume it has, the more stability it offers. Check out the dimensions of the board and take note of its width, length, and thickness. Narrower boards will be harder to balance, but they offer more control and are more nimble. Wider boards inspire more confidence for beginners since it’s easier to balance and there’s more surface area to distribute your weight evenly.
Once you find out your weight (or the total weight combined), you’ll now start to calculate the numbers in order get a good idea of how much volume you’ll need for your paddle board.
Take your body weight and multiply it by 1.4. This will give you the appropriate range of volume to look for in a paddle board.
150 pounds x 1.4 = 210
If you have your child or pet with you, take your combined weight and also multiply it by 1.4.
150 pounds (your weight) + 60 pounds (your child or pet’s weight) = 234
These numbers will give you a good idea on how much volume you need for your paddle board. Say you’re 150 pounds and you’re going to use the paddle board by yourself, the range of volume you need for the board will be around 150 to 210L. Follow the formula and take your weight (or total weight) into consideration before buying.
The question “what kind of paddleboarding do I intend to do?” is just as important as the question “what size paddle board do I need for my weight?” Because the type of paddleboarding you’ll do will also influence your decision when it comes to choosing the correct size of the paddle board. If you’re going to hit the waves with your paddle board, choose one that’s a bit narrower in construction. This will allow you to handle the changing waters better than a wider one.
If you plan on using your paddle board for just recreational riding or any type of fitness-related activities like doing yoga, stability and balance are of utmost importance. Choose a paddle board that is around 30” to 33” wide. These boards are perfect for beginners to learn the basics of paddleboarding and how to balance the board properly.
Usually, the only things you need to worry about when choosing a paddle board is your weight and the volume of the board. While some people take into account their height and correlate it to the board’s length, this is quite unnecessary because your height will not affect the board’s stability. Just focus on the paddle board’s maximum weight capacity and the volume it has.
In summary, a paddle board’s maximum weight capacity and volume should be primarily the key things you should look out for when buying a new board. The rest of the factors can be taken into consideration like board length and width depending on how you intend to use your paddle board.
If you want to ride the waves when paddleboarding, choose one that’s a bit narrow with a pointier nose to be able to handle the changing waters. All-around paddle boards are a great option for beginners and fitness enthusiasts because it offers plenty of stability thanks to its sufficient width.
Taking into account your weight and ensuring that your paddle board can handle the loads you put it under will have a huge impact on your paddleboarding experience. So the next time you ask yourself the question “What size paddle board do I need for my weight?” make sure to calculate the overall volume and the maximum capacity of the paddle board for optimum performance, stability, and ease of use.
I suppose you could say I came to surfing later than most. I didn't grow up by the water, but after years working the 9-5 grind I felt its draw and decided it was time to lead a slower life. These days I try and spend time in the water every day and consider the ocean as my living room: a place to relax, have fun, and just enjoy life.